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zebra: I need urgent advice


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As you can see from my drug signature, i've made a huge mess with my escitalopram taper and started doing things according to doctor's orders. On February 28th with the dose increase (was gaslit into thinking i need it and was in a bad place and panicked) I lost my memory and stopped sleeping. Have been in fight or flight since. I was hospitalized on March 15 with severe anxiety & insomnia. My drug was stopped immediately as i told them what caused it.

 

I stabilized at the hospital and left after one week drug-free and relatively stable. During this time i got okay sleep as well. I felt fine from March 20 to 28. I was discharged but started getting worse again and now I am back at the hospital. I have never been in a psych ward or anything like this, was put on SSRI when i was young and had situational depression/anxiety from a bad living situation.

 

I have been getting worse on my second stay here, intense fight or flight, horror, overwired, hypersensitive nervous system, extreme anxiety, sweating, feeling unreal. They want me to start taking neurolepts next for insomnia but i'm refusing. I've been getting by on the Imovane and Opamox but i do not want addiction, which might already be formed. The sleeping pill already stopped working as well.

 

Should i go home and try to reinstate a small amount of escitalopram? The one month window is closing and i don't know what to do. This is such a mess. What do i do with the benzos?

 

I was drug free besides my small dose of escitalopram until January and doing well, then i allowed the doctors to gaslight me into thinking i need a higher dose again and that my slow taper was nonsense. Now i am suffering so much and can't function and taking more and more drugs. Is my best bet trying to reinstate? I do not want to go down this route to add more drugs to the mix, but i am feeling unbelievably bad and fear i will get psychotic without sleep. Please please help me if you have any advice!

 

I am definitely hypersensitized, my body is locked in fight or flight, i also have dysautonomia from before this messing with my medications. Doctors don't believe i'm very sensitive to drugs and think it's a pathological fear of drugs and i just have GAD and severe depression. But I am not depressed and this is not GAD, i've lived with it for 20 years and it's nothing compared to this. Is there any way for me to get back to normal or is this going to be it for me? I have small windows of relief but infinitely more moments that feel like torture.

Started Escitalopram 20 mg 2010
Started tapering in July 2020 in 2,5 mg increments.
November 2023 5 mg -> 2,5 mg/ 1 February 2024 2,5 mg -> 5 mg/ 28 February 2024 5 mg -> 10 mg/ 3 March 2024 10 mg -> 5 mg/ 5 March 2024 5 mg -> 2,5 mg/ 15 March 2024 2,5 mg to 0 mg

 

Oxazepam 7,5 - 15 mg February 1 to 3 2024 and February 28 to March 21 2024 and April 4 to this day

Zopiclone 7,5 mg March 16 to 18 and April 3 2024 to this day

Mirtazapine, quetiapine, olanzapine around 15 March. Just a few pills. Can't remember specifics. :(

Hydroxyzine 25 mg 29 March to 2 April or so.

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  • KenA changed the title to zebra: I need urgent advice
  • Administrator

Welcome @zebra

I'm sorry to read your story.

 

23 hours ago, zebra said:

My drug was stopped immediately as i told them what caused it.

 

When ADs are stopped CT, unpleasant WD symptoms are the likely outcome: Daily Checklist of Antidepressant Withdrawal Symptoms (PDF) 

 

Your taper prior to the CT was way too fast and would have caused WD symptoms, too: Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

23 hours ago, zebra said:

intense fight or flight, horror, overwired, hypersensitive nervous system, extreme anxiety, sweating, feeling unreal.

 

These sound like typical WD symptoms to me.

 

23 hours ago, zebra said:

They want me to start taking neurolepts next for insomnia but i'm refusing.

 

I'd completely understand why you'd refuse.

 

23 hours ago, zebra said:

Should i go home and try to reinstate a small amount of escitalopram?

 

I'm not a doctor and can't tell you what to do, but your through process seems sound to me.

 

I can share a link with you on reinstating your AD. Make sure you read both links, as when people reinstate at too high a dose; it can cause problems (kindling).

 

About Reinstating and Stabilizing to Reduce Withdrawal Symptoms

 

Kindling

 

23 hours ago, zebra said:

What do i do with the benzos?

 

If they've been taken consistently for ~3 weeks, you may have developed a dependency....I can't say. Your signature says you took a benzo for 3 weeks, then stopped for around 3 weeks before starting something else. How'd you feel when you stopped? @LotusRising (sorry to tag you), do you have any thoughts on the Benzo?

 

A few other helpful links:

 

Windows and waves pattern of stabilization

 

Emotional Spirals

 

Non-drug coping strategies

 

Melatonin for sleep

 

We don't suggest many supplements, but two that many of us find helpful are magnesium and omega-3 fish oil. Here are the links for info about those. Add one at a time and start with a low dose to see how it affects you. 


Magnesium

 

Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil)

 

Avoid alcohol.

 

This is your own Introduction topic.  Each member has only ONE Introduction topic.  Your own Introduction topic is the best place to ask questions and the place to journal your progress.  This keeps your history in one place and means you do not have to repeat your story. 

 

Once again, welcome to S.A.

 

Emonda

Please don't send me PMs. I am not a doctor. My comments are based on my personal experience with ADs and tapering. Consult your doctor about your own medical decisions.

Start of taper: Jan ’22 Vortioxetine 15mg, 

End year 1: 4.5mg, 

End year 2: 2.38mg, 

Year 3: 19 Jan 2.33mg, 26 Jan 2.28mg, 2 Feb 2.24mg, 8 Feb 2.19mg, 29 Feb 2.15mg, 7 Mar 2.10mg, 14 Mar 2.06mg, 21 Mar 1.99mg, 10 Apr 1.95mg, 17 Apr 1.91mg, 24 Apr 1.87mg, 1 May 1.83mg, 23 May 1.80mg,

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Thank you so much Emonda! I am having a window of clarity after around 20 hours of terror. There is so much gaslighting and pressure to start quetiapine which i know won't work and then they'll start more drugs. During these clear moments i must make a plan to survive. Today i told the nurse about my suicidal thoughts so I am not sure if i am allowed to leave anymore.

 

I have this few hour window thanks to oxazepam even though it's bad to take it. I have been taking it every day for 8 days now and my dose is increasing. I will correct my signature. My condition has worsened day by day during my hospital stay. Last time when i was off benzos i felt fine for around a week. Anxiety waves but tolerable. i've never had mental illness like this and no-one besides my dad believes it started on the same day as my abrupt drug change and this is not mental illness. I have severe memory issues now. I know reinstatement is a risk at this point but i feel it's my only chance at surviving. I need to try to calculate the dose... i think i was last stable at 5 mg but i am so oversensitized that i should maybe take 1/10 of that or less?

Started Escitalopram 20 mg 2010
Started tapering in July 2020 in 2,5 mg increments.
November 2023 5 mg -> 2,5 mg/ 1 February 2024 2,5 mg -> 5 mg/ 28 February 2024 5 mg -> 10 mg/ 3 March 2024 10 mg -> 5 mg/ 5 March 2024 5 mg -> 2,5 mg/ 15 March 2024 2,5 mg to 0 mg

 

Oxazepam 7,5 - 15 mg February 1 to 3 2024 and February 28 to March 21 2024 and April 4 to this day

Zopiclone 7,5 mg March 16 to 18 and April 3 2024 to this day

Mirtazapine, quetiapine, olanzapine around 15 March. Just a few pills. Can't remember specifics. :(

Hydroxyzine 25 mg 29 March to 2 April or so.

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  • Moderator

Hi @zebra

 

I'm sorry you're in this situation. I understand it can be quite alarming and frustrating.

 

Just to clarify about the benzo -

 

You took it daily from Feb 28-March 21 and then stopped it. Did you taper?

 

You restarted it 8 days ago? Daily?

2003-2009 on and off various SSRI's for short periods, Ativan prn

2010-2011 Ativan, up to 1.5mg/day - tapered off without issue

2013-2021 ativan 1-1.5mg 10-12x/month, daily starting Oct 21 to help with buspar WD

2016 - Effexor 75mg, short-term

2021 Mar -Jun Buspar ADR at high dose, tapered 3 months

2021 Aug Wellbutrin 150mg for 5 days (ADR), then MIrtazapine 7.5mg for 7 days (ADR)

Oct 22/21 - Direct switch ativan to clonazepam (don't do this)

Tapered clonaz Oct/21 - Apr/23  - 0mg!

 

Supplements: omega-3, mag-glycinate

 

"Believe that your tragedies, your losses, your sorrows, your hurt, happened for you, not to you. And I bless the thing that broke you down and cracked you open, because the world needs you open" - Rebecca Campbell

 

*** Disclaimer: Please note, my suggestions/comments are based on my own personal experiences. Please consult a knowledgeable practitioner to discuss decisions regarding your medical care *** 

 

                                                             *** Please do not send me PM's ***

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Thank you LotusRising! Yes, i took it every day but not at regular times. I did not taper. Suddenly around the 17th of March i felt better and stopped taking everything according to my signature. I felt good for around 10 days and the same hell started again and i got myself readmitted and got back on benzos without realizing what was happening. :( i have been taking them chaotically but mostly no more than 7,5 mg a day.

Started Escitalopram 20 mg 2010
Started tapering in July 2020 in 2,5 mg increments.
November 2023 5 mg -> 2,5 mg/ 1 February 2024 2,5 mg -> 5 mg/ 28 February 2024 5 mg -> 10 mg/ 3 March 2024 10 mg -> 5 mg/ 5 March 2024 5 mg -> 2,5 mg/ 15 March 2024 2,5 mg to 0 mg

 

Oxazepam 7,5 - 15 mg February 1 to 3 2024 and February 28 to March 21 2024 and April 4 to this day

Zopiclone 7,5 mg March 16 to 18 and April 3 2024 to this day

Mirtazapine, quetiapine, olanzapine around 15 March. Just a few pills. Can't remember specifics. :(

Hydroxyzine 25 mg 29 March to 2 April or so.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi, just to let you know i was started on a high dose (10 mg) of olanzapine which destroyed my brain, memory, feelings, the whole of my identity. :( I took it for about a week, lost part of my vision and function of my right hand among a ton of other stuff. I was then sent home from the hospital and am at my parents, but i don't think they'll be able to take care of me for long. I am extremely agitated, have akathisia and tardive dyskinesia controlled by oxazepam, sleep for 5 hours with zopiclone and keep getting worse by the day. I just broke, was so messed up and there was so much pressure and gaslighting. I suspect i won't be around for long. :( i think about suicide all my waking minutes. existence is intolerable and i'm still being treated as an anxiety sufferer. Nobody around me understands what I'm going through. Thank you for the support and your work and let this be another cautionary tale.

Started Escitalopram 20 mg 2010
Started tapering in July 2020 in 2,5 mg increments.
November 2023 5 mg -> 2,5 mg/ 1 February 2024 2,5 mg -> 5 mg/ 28 February 2024 5 mg -> 10 mg/ 3 March 2024 10 mg -> 5 mg/ 5 March 2024 5 mg -> 2,5 mg/ 15 March 2024 2,5 mg to 0 mg

 

Oxazepam 7,5 - 15 mg February 1 to 3 2024 and February 28 to March 21 2024 and April 4 to this day

Zopiclone 7,5 mg March 16 to 18 and April 3 2024 to this day

Mirtazapine, quetiapine, olanzapine around 15 March. Just a few pills. Can't remember specifics. :(

Hydroxyzine 25 mg 29 March to 2 April or so.

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Hi Zebra, 
I'm sorry to read what you've been through and how you're doing.
 

The people here in the forum believe what you are going through and what the causes are - because we had to experience it ourselves in a similar way.
But that's why I can also tell you, your brain has not been destroyed by Olanzapine or other drugs - it has been severely affected, but this is a condition that is not permanent.
Rest assured that your body has tremendous ability to heal itself. 
 

You are valuable and you seem to be young, so you can still experience so many wonderful things in life. 

Emonda wrote you a post on April 12th with lots of good and valuable tips. They can help you to feel better again! 
Just as this forum and the experiences of the people here have also helped my wife a lot, she is feeling much better.
 

All the best!
JandD

13.10.21 - 50mg Sertraline + 2mg Diazepam (stop after 7 days).
15.11.21 - decission to stop sertraline, because of adverse reaction, no more Sertraline since 18.11.21
03.02.22 - Massive side effects from Sertraline, including head pressure, led to a suicide attempt and hospitalisation
16.03.22 - 20mg Olanzapine / 30mg Mirtazapine / 2.5mg Diazepam (last day of hospital and Diazepam)
17.04.22 - monthly microtapering Olanzapine (22.10.22 - 10mg / 22.02.23 - 7,5mg / 20.05.23 - 5mg / 15.07.23 - 3,7mg)
10.08.23 - monthly microtapering Mirtazapine (28.08.23 - 26mg / 18.09.23 - 22mg / 17.10.23 - 18mg / 20.11.23 - 15mg)
05.12.23 - monthly microtapering Olanzapine (15.12.23 - 3,2mg / 13.01.24 - 2,75mg / 12.02.24 - 2,25mg / 13.03.24 - 1,875mg)

Current - monthly microtapering Mirtazapine 12mg / Olanzapine 1,875mg (holding)

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